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Studio B With Shepard Smith

News/Business. Shepard Smith. Shepard Smith reports on the days top news stories. New. (CC)

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01:00:00

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ac3

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Us 10, New York 7, Philadelphia 7, Alabama 5, Hawaii 4, Washington 4, Assad 3, William Spengler 3, Pennsylvania 3, Mohammed Morsi 2, Tim Geithner 2, David Lee 2, Rick Cawley 2, Ken Walsh 2, Wtxf 2, Lisa 2, Mississippi 2, Spengler 2, Gerri Willis 2, David Lee Miller 2,
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  FOX News    Studio B With Shepard Smith    News/Business. Shepard Smith. Shepard Smith  
   reports on the days top news stories. New. (CC)  

    December 26, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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new york. >> good for tina cohen. she took the dog to the vet to be scanned for a microchip and the vet tracked down the owner. she's one happy little owner. >> we're a few days until we ring in the new year. fox news is all america new year's eve starting at 11:00 p.m. eastern on new year's eve. megyn kelly and bill hemmer will bring it to you live from sometime square -- times square in new york city this coming monday. >> that's does it for us, thanks for watching. "studio b" with shepard"studio r starts now. >> the news begins anew on "studio b." the major winter storms that unleashed heavy snow and tornadoes on christmas now barreling towards the northeast. the travel delays are racking up
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fast. details on that ahead. the tornado threat still in effect for parts of the south after a record number of twisters rocked that region. we'll have much more on that in a moment. plus, the president cutting his holiday vacation short to try to hammer out a deal on the fiscal cliff. where do we stand with six days to go? that's all ahead unless breaking news changes everything on "studio b." first from fox at 3:00, winter weather threatening to cause travel problems for people getting home after the holidays. some states dealing with snow, thunderstorms and tornadoes. check out this twister that touched down in mobile, alabama last night. >> oh my god, look. that's a tornado. oh, wow. oh, jesus, look at that tornado. >> nearly three dozen reported
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tornadoes trashing texas, louisiana, mississippi and alabama. according to the national weather service, new tornado warnings are in effect for the carolinas at the same time a winter weather system cut power to nearly 200,000 homes and businesses in the south. >> our electricity went out at our house and we're trying to get our generator started. we came to get gas for the generator. >> "the associated press" reports the storm has killed six people across the nation's midsection and moving north and east toward new england set to bring snow, sleet and thunderstorms during the post christmas travel rush. airlines already delaying and grounding thousands of flights nationwide. we have team fox coverage. elizabeth plan is live. first, maria is live in the fox extreme weather center. where is the storm? >> hi, trace. we're tracking the storm system
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producing more winter weather today and severe weather. the center of the storm system is over the state of kentucky but it's widespread. delays at the airports in places across the northeast. even though the center is around portions of kentucky. delays well over 3-hours in philly and laguardia. over an hour. out here outside of new york city we're seeing flurries right now and snow showers but of course conditions are going to deteriorate later during the overnight hours. we could see gusts over 60 miles an hour across parts of the southeast where the storm is pretty much over, across georgia, the florida panhandle and alabama. we're feeling the impacts with gusts over 20, 30 miles an hour, up to 40 miles an hour here. so it's dry but you're still seeing windy conditions which could cause additional damage across those states.
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the severe weather aspect, a tornado watch in north carolina and south carolina and on the western side, across indiana and ohio. further to the west, over the west, where the snow is already over with across missouri and illinois, we got reports of over a foot of snow on the ground, and that goes for arkansas. the storm system is massive and really dumping a lot of snow and severe weather. >> you talk about the northeast, philadelphia and new york, new jersey and boston, at least six or seven major airports. what are we expecting for the northeast the next 24 to 48 hours? >> things do not look good across the northeast. heavy snow. we have live pictures from the northeast and here outside our offices in new york city, you can see the wet roadways. we do have snow coming down and it's a messy evening commute. for new york city itself,
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snowfall accumulations of an inch or two so not huge but that rain will come down tonight and also into tomorrow morning. the wind will be a huge concern in new york city, gusting to 60 miles an hour. interior portions of the northeast will get hit hard with snow. a foot across upstate new york, pennsylvania, you're under a winter storm warning. some could get upgraded to a blizzard warning if we continue to see the wind pick up overnight. most of new england as well, currently under a winter storm warning because of the same system that will produce the worst conditions overnight across the northeast and into your thursday morning. >> maria, back to you as the weather warrants. thank you. >> more on the tornadoes that tore through dixie, they're rare for this time of year. but they're not unheard of. elizabeth, what does the damage look like?
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>> it left a trail of soggy destruction. folks across the southeast spent the better half of the day cleaning debris, covering exposed roofs and trying to get power back. the system stretched through alabama, louisiana and mississippi where 34 tornadoes ripped through the area destroying homes, churches and businesses. >> we've got a lot of damage, we got people hurt. i went out with a skid and we got equipment and opened the roads for emergency vehicles. and to get the ambulances in. it's a mess. >> mobile, the biggest city hit by the rare tornado twisters and powerful straight-line winds. forecasters say there could have been as many at 19 in the area. many are shocked at the damage. >> as you look at the pictures, all that damage but nobody killed? >> nobody killed in mobile. people really heeded the call
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and listened to forecasters as the systems were predicted. murphy hads was built in the 1920's, a prominent building normally filled with thousands of students. it was empty when the storm ripped off walls, picked up desks and tore through the awed forum. fire officials tell us they have finished their door-to-door searches of downtown and found only minor injuries. >> you doughnut -- don't think about tornadoes in winter weather. how unusual is it? >> they're rare but they happen in december. the system was huge. it affected the whole southeast region. what was unique about it, it affected every part of the region differently. some areas were drenched with torrential rain, others with flash floods and powerful winds that skipped across the region. trees and power lines are on the ground leaving debris in the roadway and the stormy conditions as we just heard from
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maria are continuing, so officials say if you're in one of the impacted states, don't get on the roadways if you don't have to. >> it's good advice. elizabeth, thank you. one man in mobile, alabama was celebrating christmas with his family when the tornado sirens went off. he took his relatives to the school where he's a teacher and they tried to ride out the storm in the fieldhouse but just minutes after they arrived, so did the twister. he says the pressure suddenly went down and everybody's ears began to pop. when it was over, some of the buildings, including his classroom, were gone. rick cawley joins us. you brought your family to that shelter to the school hoping that that was the safest place for you. really, you ended up walking right into the jaws of this thing. >> yeah. we had no idea that it was going to be a direct hit. but the building that we went to is made of solid concrete and it
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was a lot safer option than my house, which is less than -- about a third of a mile away. >> well, it's a good place. i want to know -- you were saying you didn't hear what a lot of people hear, that sound of a freight train that tornadoes make when you were in the building and you heard the weather coming at you, what was going on at that time? >> it was more of a kind of a mad scramble to find my children and my wife and we were all in the building, but we weren't all in the exact same area. we were trying to find each other and make sure we were going to be okay. >> did you think at some point in time when you heard the weather getting close to the school, maybe this is not the best place and we should go elsewhere? >> well, my house is right next to the school, so there was no other option for us. it was my house or the
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fieldhouse, so i knew that the fieldhouse was a stronger structure than my house. it's really old and kind of small. >> yeah, it is. well, rick, the best to you and your family. a lucky break four. the school very badly damaged. rick cawley and his family are fine. thank you. >> thank you so much. there's a bizarre twist in the deadly ambush of firefighters in upstate new york. at police search for the killer's motive there's something in his late mother's obituary raising eyebrows. first president obama cutting vacation short to deal with the dreaded fiscal cliff. with just six days until the deadline, some lawmakers say it might be too late. and that's next. so, this board gives me rates for progressive direct and other car insurance companies? yes.
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from the president cutting his holiday vacation in hawaii short to get back to work on avoiding the fiscal cliff. the white house says the president is set to return to the nation's capital tomorrow morning to try to hammer out a deal where lawmakers on stopping automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts from kicking in, which is set to happen, if you're not watching the calendar, six days from now. if they don't reach a deal many say it could send the country right back into recession. ed henry is live in honolulu, hawaii. is this a sign the president sees progress in the talks? >> reporter: well, good to see you. it may be the opposite. the president's not seeing progress and wants to get back to washington as soon as possible to goose the process. time is running out. economists say we could go into another recession if the fiscal cliff is not dealt with. we just learned house republicans convened a
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conference call with members to say be on 48 hours notice to come back to washington in the next few days to deal with this one way or another. the senate coming back into session tomorrow morning 10:00 a.m. eastern time. the president on this red eye will be flying basically overnight tonight into tomorrow, get there early in the day and maybe convene congressional leaders at some point. interesting that starbucks, the coffee company, is running a row motion in d.c. stores where the they're writing come together on the coffee cup. right now, they're a bit far apart. >> i heard you talk about that 78-degree cold front that swept through the islands. before he headed out, how did the president celebrate christmas? >> yeah, it's been rough. you're right. 78 degrees is probably better than where you are right now, but the bottom line is that hawaii is always beautiful this time and the president started a
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tradition when he comes out here for christmas, which is to go to the marine base here and thank the troops. take a listen to what he had to say. >> so many of you make sacrifices day in and out on behalf of our freedom, on behalf of our security, and not only do those in uniform make sacrifices but i think everybody here understands the sacrifices families make every day as well. >> reporter: now, obviously taking care of that thanks to the troops but the president back on the golf courses, at least his third round as he came, so truncated but he's getting recreation in, some time with the family. i joked how it's only 78 degrees. that's pretty good this time of year. >> chilly for hawaii. any more cabinet moves expected before the end of the year? >> it doesn't look like it. number one, one of the biggest
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sometimes is the treasury secretary job because tim geithner wants to step down. jack lou is the lead be contender but we're told the president doesn't want to mess up of fiscal cliff negotiations worse than they are. tim geithner in the middle of those talks so we don't expect that move. the defense department, leon panetta likely to step down. chuck hagel has been the leading contender we're told but now is running into interference from groups, including chuck schumer, who is expressing concern and former republican senator is the right guy. this is playing out like the susan rice situation, the u.n. embassador who never got nominated but there was criticism to the president pulled it back. john kerry getting that nomination. there's frustration among the
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president's supporters that he's leaving names out and not moving ahead but the fiscal cliff negotiations are dominating his time. >> the fiscal cliff and diamond head in the background and waikiki beach. ed, safe trip home. joining us, from u.s. news and world report, ken walsh. who is going to come to the rescue, anybody? >> looks like there's a road block at every critical juncture point here. it looks like now the ball's in the senate's court, to mix met force. the house failed to get to a vote with speaker boehner's plan. it looks like the best they can do, really, is some kind of a partial agreement that -- with some of the fiscal cliff provisions are going to take effect on january 1st. this is what everybody was hoping would not happen but it looks imminent.
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>> let's just say your scenario's right and the temporary fix comes from the senate and harry reid but it has to go back to the house. then what? >> the other part is the senate. the 60 vote rule of the filibuster. they have to clear that 60-vote point if somebody blocks this in the senate. then it goes back to the house. there's a lot of questions about whether spiker boehner can control his republican caucus. he could not get the votes a week ago and we don't know if we could this time. what might happen is the tax provisions -- the taxes go up january 1st and then the senate might arrange for then a vote to cut taxes, which is a lot less onerous than to allow taxes to increase or vote to raise taxes. so without getting too far into the weeds they're trying to find a method to prevent the more dangerous economic issues from taking effect but at the same time reduce the political pressure on those, particularly
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conservatives who don't want to raise taxes. >> we just lowered your taxes, we let it go up then lowered it so we're the good guys. the question i don't think anybody gets, they're coming back tomorrow. the president, congress is coming back from vacation. and there's not a bill to be had. >> that's right. i think that you step back from there and we in washington say they never come to an agreement at the very end. now we're at the end and they don't have an agreement. americans think are these people knuckleheads, unable to do anything right? it's a tremendous blow to the credibility, particularly of congress, if we go off the fiscal cliff and then go to all these shenanigans to patch something together. >> ken walsh, chief white house correspondent dante for u.s. news and world report. >> thank you. >> one year since a tragic christmas fire that captured the
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nation's attention. now, a shattered mother is speaking about the fire that killed her mother, her father and three daughters. her story, one year later, is next. [ male announcer ] this is sheldo whose long day setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. back to the news. till you finish your vegetables. [ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love. could've had a v8. or...try kids boxes!
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one police officer who survived the apparent shooting ambush in
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upstate new york wishes he could have done more to help the volunteer firefighters who ultimately died. it happened christmas eve. police say a gunman apparently set a fire as a trap to lure first responders. then soon after they arrived, he began shooting from the outside. the wounded police officer says he was off-duty at the time. >> i'm not in my cruiser, i'm in my personal car and i don't have -- i can't respond. so it's a very difficult emotional experience for me because i'm trained to help people and at that point i can't because i don't have anything. >> cops identified the gunman at 62-year-old william spengler. he ultimately committed suicide shooting himself in the head. the shooter armed himself with not one but three weapons and a whole bunch of ammunition. as the police chief put it, quote, he was equipped to go to
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war. johnathan hunt is live in the new york city studio. what more did we hear from the off-duty officer? >> john ridder is haled as a hero by other cops but he was frustrated that he felt he couldn't do enough to protect the firefighters. he didn't have his gun. he wasn't in his patrol car so all he was able to do was position his private car between william spengler, who was firing, and the firefighters at whom he was shooting, listen. >> those people are people that get up in the morning and go to someone's house to help them. for some unknown reason, some person decides he can do whatever he wants. no one ever expected that. i never expected that. these are things no one expects in the world today. that's no way to defend an ambush. you know, i'm full of many mixed emotions of a, being here, and
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others not being here. >> the two firefighters who were wounded in the attack released a statement today which read in part, with he deeply appreciate your compassion and support as we focus on recovering from our physical wounds. we are humbled and a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of well wishes for us and our families. we're in good hands. doctors, by the way, say they expect to upgrade the condition of both those two today to satisfactory. one piece of good news today. >> yeah. and the funerals are set now for the firefighters who died. >> yes, it's going to be a tough couple days coming up for that community and particularly the fire fighting community. thomas ca chew ca will will be buried second on monday. he of course was just 19 years old. then michael shepariny, was 43. the funeral will be sunday and he was a police lieutenant as
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well as a volunteer fire fighter. >> what do we know about the body found had spengler's home? >> we don't know because cops aren't confirming anything except the charred body of somebody was found in the spengler home. now it's believed that it was most likely the body of his sister, sheryl. we don't know for sure but neighbors say that william spengler hated his sister. he was apparently very much different in attitude towards his mother, who died in october. a lot of neighbors say that may have been the moment that tipped him over the edge. we also heard that in his mother's obituary, donations were asked to be sent to the fireman's association. an awful irony. >> jonathan hunt live in new york, thank you. one year has passed since a
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house fire shattered the life of a mother in connecticut. it killed her three daughters, and both of her parents, on christmas day. now the woman says it was a real challenge finding the strength to move on with her life. the mom told a local newspaper she and a friend were wrapping presents. the friend cleaned ashes that had blown out of a small fireplace and threw them in the garbage bin before she went to sleep. one hour later, the woman woke up choking, flames and smoke engulfed the house. firefighters pulled her out but they could not save her children or her parents in time. the mother said she somehow made it through the funeral services but eventually she broke down. she said that her hair turned gray and fell out in clumps and they threaded to kill herself by overdosing on pills. this year another friend in arkansas agreed to take her in as long as she did not commit
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suicide. now the mom says support from friends and memories of her children have kept her going. she arranged a trip to thailand for this christmas so she could donate her daughter's toys to an orphanage. >> governor cuomo activates the emergency operation center as a winter storm hits new york state. thousands of flights delayed or grounded and the monster storm is on the move. a closer look at the travel situation coming up. plus, holiday shopping saw its weakest gain in years but post christmas spending could provide a boost for retailers. a live report coming up as we approach the bottom of the hour and the top of the news. she knows you like no one else.
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or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. we are learning many americans held on to their spending monday this holiday instead of hitting the stores. holiday sales reached the worst level since the 2008 recession. master card reports sales increased less than 1% compared to last year. experts predicted growth of 3 to 4% but there's a little bit of time for retailers to boost the bottom lines because you can bet some shoppers will be hitting the stores with their brand-new gift cards and of course you have all those afterchristmas sales. gerri willis is live in our new york city studio.
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why were sales so disappointing? >> mostly weather in the northeast. super storm sandy knocked as much as 1.4% of northeast sales, 3.9 on the mid-atlantic but the fiscal cliff, consumers are taking note and this is the season for retailers. as much as 40 to 50% of sales occur in november and december. some dis counting 75% pre-christmas. >> so bad news for retailers but the weak sales could be good for consumers. >> i have been reading up on this. everybody and their mother, wal-mart, target, best buy, toys "r" us are putting on major discounts. they're better than usual. it's some kind of discounting, as much as 15% of holiday sales come in the next week. >> wow. what about online sales? it sound like they're up. >> christmas day alone online
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sales up 22.4%, 8% up season to season. more and more people shop on line abuse of the convenience, the ability to comparison shop. it's easier. if you don't think it's going to be up next year, i don't think what you're thinking because it grows and grows. >> and grows and grows. gerri willis, good to see you. >> thank you. a live look now at the snow falling in cleveland. officials warn of whiteout conditions and urge people to stay off the roads as much as possible. the storm that battered the south and midwest is bearing down on the northeast. more than 3,000 flights delayed or canceled as the storm heads towards the nation's busiest airports. rick seeny is the founder of fare compare.com. when you talk about preempting
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flights, canceling flights, that's not a good sign. >> oh no. it's not a good sign but it's a good sign for consumers that airlines are precanceling because they need to know things are canceled so they can make other plans. you don't want to be stuck on the tarmac for hours, flying around trying to get to an airport, diverted, your family not able to pick you up and they're in a snowstorm. i like that airlines are proactive and canceling flights. one in five will be delayed or canceled historically during this time. >> say i'm flying into philly or newark or new york or logan tomorrow or the next 48 hours and my flight has not been canceled yet. what do i do? >> well, you basically need to check out, sign up for flight status alerts. each airline has one. flightstats.com.
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sometimes even before the gate agent knows you'll know which is pretty good information. as soon as you know your flight's delayed, you need to head to the airport if they haven't canceled your flight, otherwise, unless they give waivers, you'll be charged for a change fee or missing your flight. you need to head to the airport. airlines aren't required to give you vouchers. you're left to your own devices in the case of mother nature. >> i don't think people realize even the major airlines have between 400 and 600 planes so when you have a couple hundred trapped in boston, newark and philly, you'll have thousands of cancelations. >> right. yesterday we had dfw, 250 cancellations because across the american system were 600 because you have cascading effects where others are canceled completely in other parts of the country.
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if it's sunny outside, you may still have your flight cancelled to check on your flight every hour on the hour the day you're going and check ahead of time to make sure it wasn't precancelled. >> it's good advice. rick, good to see you, thank you, sir. >> thanks. meteorologists caitlin roth joins us from wtxf in philadelphia. what are the conditions now? >> well, we have seen just about everything with this storm system this afternoon from snow to sleet and freezing rain and rain all across the philadelphia area. right now in philadelphia, we're seeing that transition to just rain. warm a air is trapped in the storm and almost everyone will transition to the rain. we still have the concerns with the snow and the sleet up into northern portions of pensions, central pennsylvania, northeast pennsylvania where they're under the winter storm warnings where accumulating snow is a concern. between there and the rain in philadelphia, it's that mix
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which causes icy conditions on the roads and major interstates like i-80 take you to new york city. you'll see problems too. as we transition to the rain, that makes it better on the roadways here in our area. >> and as we get going toward the night and late evening, what are we looking at? >> well, more rain for our area, so south jersey. you'll see a thunderstorm or two. the whole philadelphia area under a flood watch meaning heavy rain will cause problems for local roads and creeks and streams in the area. rain moving in but the wind increasing too. that will be a problem also at the airports going into tonight. wind warnings are in effect along the jersey shore where we could see gusts in excess of 50 miles an hour. inland into the philadelphia area, you could see gusts over 40 miles an hour. so transitioning from the wintry weather to rain and wind, we
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still expect snow to continue in the higher elevation ins northeast pennsylvania. >> yeah, that by the way is a live look outside our fox news headquarters in new york. caitlin from wtxf. thank you very much. >> yeah. a newspaper in new york state published the names and addresses of folks who have gun permits, the move has a lot of people furious. now officials with the paper are defending their decision. plus, now you've heard about the fiscal cliff fight. for you and youry not know what wallet. you will next because we're going to break down what it will cost you if this thing goes over. hi. i'm henry winkler.
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>> a new york newspaper faces black lash after publishing names and addresses of local gun owners. the journal news features a interactive map with detailed information on anybody with a handgun permit. the decision to put it on line is causing a major controversy. critics say it's a privacy violation and could make gun owners a target. the paper's report says angry callers even threatened staffers. david lee miller, a lot of people are speaking out against this paper for doing this, right? >> that's right. a lot of people are not happy with the journal news.
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in a follow uparticle the paper says thousands reacted enraged, callers complained their privacy was violated and personal safety was at risk. one critical website is posting online personal information such as the addresses and phone numbers of the paper's executives to drive home the point that the paper should not have released this information. >> david lee, the newspaper wanted to go further than giving names and addresses. what happened? >> the newspaper said specific information about the number and type of weapons listed under each permit, though requested under the freedom of information act, was not released. the map reveals names and addresses of people with permits but does not dis chloe if they have a gun. the data was requested by three counties but putnam county is working on gathering data. newspaper in a statement to fox
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foxnews.com explained the reason for publishing the information, the massacre in newtown remains top of mind for many readers and conversation on our opinion pages and web has been focused on gun control. readers are interested to know about guns in their community. >> david lee, this isn't the first time the paper did something like this. >> no, it's not. the newspaper published similar information about gun permits in 2006 but they said the reaction this time was much greater. that was due they said to the popularity of social media. this paper is owned by gannet and struggling economically. the journal news let newspaper eliminated staff. the article published this week provided an interesting footnote about the author. the paper said he owns a smith and wesson .357 magnum.
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>> david lee miller life in new york city. andrew jones arrested on domestic violence charges after a alleged fide with -- fight with his wife. he dragged his wife down the stairs, grabbing her neck saying he wanted to kill her. the gold glove winner appeared intoxicated and confused. jones is free on bail but has made no public comment. more on the race to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. a battle that affects every american because if lawmakers cannot reach a deal in the next week, those automatic tax hikes will likely make a dent on your wallet. some families could feel the pinch more than others. molly henneberg is live in d.c. explain how substantial the
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impact could be. >> spends how frugal you are with your money. one economist says the impact will not be insignificant. >> if we go off the cliff unimpeded, in other words, they don't make any kind of deals whatsoever, it's a $400 billion tax hike. it's one of the -- the biggest tax hikes we've ever had in the history of the country. >> let's look at the numbers from the tax policy center. for those whose taxes go up, this is the average tax hit families will take on top of what they already paid in taxes. those who make below $10,000 will pay $300 more. down the chart, 30 to $40,000, an extra $1,400. on the next page, look at those making between 50 and $57,000, they have to find and extra $2,300 to send to washington. down at the bottom of the list, 100 to $200,000, if you make
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that, get ready to pay over $6,000 in addition to your usual tax bill. married couples with children will get hit pretty hard as they would lose a lot of tax breaks and credits they've enjoyed for years. >> we hear about those who make more than $250,000 a year. what about those people, the highest tax bracket? >> they'll shoulder a big chunk. if you make over $200,000 it will be a jump up. send a check to uncle sam for on average, $14,000 additional. $500 to a million, if you make that, you'll pay $34,000 more. and if you make over a million, the i.r.s. will want $216,000 from you on top of what you already pay in taxes. one financial advisory tells fox the uncertainty is making families less willing to spend money before or after christmas and making businesses less
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willing to hire new employs. >> molly, thank you. a senior general in the syrian army reportedly joins the rebels. but that has not stopped the sinner -- syrian government from killing its own. attacks on innocent children in the increasingly deadly civil war coming up.
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a new blow to the syrian regime killing its own people. a top general decided to defect to join the uprising against the sir ran president assad. the head of the military police appeared in a video aired on middle eastern news saying he's joining, quote, the people's revolution because, quoting again, the army derailed from the basic mission of protecting people and has become a gang for killing and destruction. this could be one of the most senior military defections in the nearly two-year long civil war that activists say killed more than 40,000 people but it has not stopped the syrian government from attacking its own men, women, and children. a human rights group reports the regime shelled a bakery and
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killed 20 people, including at least eight children. we cannot independently confirm that. we're joined by a journalist who specializes on middle east affairs. this is a significant defection, lisa, and it appears from the you don't see that you have bashar al-assad losing his grip on power. >> absolutely. this is one of the most significant diminishing of power for the bashar al-assad regime. we've seen the military be a full supporter of asaid. a few defections but nothing of that caliber that would keep him there. there's a few factors that since march of 2011 when uprisings began in syria that helped assad stayed in power. little by little we see these factors dissolve, one the military and this large defection we had today. the other being support from russia. the two other elements that still remain in place, however,
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keeping him there, are thal away community, the minority shiite community assad comes from are still in place and a supporter as well as the iranian have a regime. -- regime. we're getting closer and the news of the general defecting is one step closer to the imminent collapse of the assad regime. >> we're talking about this videotape we just mentioned and all of a sudden up this advantage in the propaganda war fought inside syria as well. another blow i would think to the assad regime. >> right, not only do you have the general defecting saying i no longer want to be part of this gang military but he's switching sides, giving us the almost inside tip as to whether the opposition is not only gaining but is about to win.
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i think when they're switching sides and going to the winning team, we can almost predict this is a very soon we're going to see a collapse of the regime. >> he's not just leaving, his switching sides. >> publicly. >> neil: right, publicly leaving and criticizing the regime. now you have reports that you got that the rebels could take over the key military base in the north. if they do, they could choke off supplies going into damascus and aleppo, the two largest cities in the country. that could be a huge blow to assad. >> his own base is damascus, he's holding on to that. he can no longer be the dictator he once was. as you said, defecting publicly is such a risk. it's such a -- in this countries, they come after you obviously. we've seen that in iran and other very harsh dictatorships,
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in egypt. by general doing this publicly and coming out, it's a huge blow to the regime and we'll see how this kind of plays out. >> yeah. and the flip side, you have the rebels saying now to the people in the syrian government, you better come join us or when we take over, you'll be held accountable. lisa, i've got to go, great to see you. >> my pleasure. >> the egyptian president mohammed morsi calling on opposition to focus on repairing the economy. after voters approved a new and controversial constitution. critics say mohammed morsi and allies pushed the constitution without input from secular officials and it restricts women's rights and free speech. president morsi acknowledges the respectable proportion that voted against the constitution but offered nothing to the opposition that violently protested against it and rejected working with the president. "studio b" coming right back. [ all ] 3, 2, 1...
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as china prepares to usher in the year of the snake we're looking at the year of the grumpy cat and the puppy the size of an iphone. 2012's we'dest moments from the animal kingdom.
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then there's this before we call it a day on "studio b." it seems nobody's figured out facebook's privacy setting.

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